Gaylord News

SCOTUS confirmation battle, stimulus stalemate highlight partisan divide

Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford talks with reporters about Supreme Court Justice nominee Amy Coney Barrett and stimulus negotiations. Gaylord News / Jessie Christopher Smith.

Jessie Christopher Smith, Reporter

October 26, 2020

WASHINGTON — As President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee was confirmed Monday night, Oklahoma’s two senators pinned the blame on Democrats as coronavirus relief negotiations stalled yet again.  Sens. James Lankford and Jim Inhofe criticized Senate Democrats for what they said were unf...

Oklahoma senators affirm support for Trump’s Supreme Court nominee

Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe (left) meets with Supreme Court Justice nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett (right) on Oct. 21 at the US Capitol. Fellow Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford also met with Judge Barrett an hour earlier. Gaylord News/Emma Sears

Jessie Christopher Smith, Reporter

October 21, 2020

WASHINGTON — Oklahoma’s two senators pledged their support of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett with a vote looming late next week. Both said they found her to be highly qualified to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who passed away last month, setting off a high-stakes political fight ...

Renaming OKC post office a lesson on civil rights

Clara Luper was a prominent figure in the civil rights movement and is largely credited with starting the movement in Oklahoma.  Photo courtesy

Jessie Christopher Smith, Reporter

October 1, 2020

WASHINGTON -- A bill renaming the downtown Oklahoma City post office for an Oklahoma civil rights icon has been stalled in a Senate committee of which Sen. James Lankford is a member. The bill to rename the post office in honor of Clara Luper passed in the House of Representatives on Sept. 14. Rep...

Oklahoma in ‘final sprint’ before census deadline

Native American tribes in Oklahoma are working to increase participation in the census. (Gaylord News Photo)

Bennett Brinkman, Reporter

September 23, 2020

As the Sept. 30 deadline for census responses approaches, a number of Oklahoma groups are working to ensure as many people as possible are counted. Oklahoma currently has a response rate of 93.8%, ranking 38th in the nation for response rates, according to the official census website. The Oklahoma Complete...

Census awareness raised in immigrant communities despite bureau troubles

Census awareness raised in immigrant communities despite bureau troubles

Jessie Christopher Smith, Reporter

September 15, 2020

WASHINGTON – Oklahoma may have been spared missing thousands of immigrants in the 2020 census when a federal judge temporarily stopped the Trump administration from ending the census early, according to civil rights groups. The United States Census Bureau had set an Oct. 31 deadline for ending the...

Black Lives Matter rallies for Julius Jones at Washington march

Rev. T. Sheri Dickerson, head of Black Lives Matter OKC, reflects on the shooting of Jacob Blake and the case of Julius Jones. Jessie Smith/Gaylord News

Jessie Christopher Smith, Reporter

August 28, 2020

WASHINGTON — Thirteen members of the Black Lives Matter OKC chapter called for clemency of Oklahoma death row inmate Julius Jones while joining others marching to protest police brutality and racial injustice along the National Mall on Friday. Fifty-seven years after the Rev. Martin Luther King...

Kiowa Chairman’s impeachment hearing delayed

Chairman Komalty (pictured, center) sought injunction over concern about COVID-19 exposure. Photo courtesy of the Kiowa Tribe.

Nancy Spears, Reporter

July 30, 2020

The impeachment trial for Matthew Komalty, chairman of the 14,000 member Kiowa Tribe was halted Thursday after the Court of Indian Offenses ordered a delay. Komalty sought the delay because of a concern that two legislators were reportedly exposed to COVID-19, one receiving a false positive test re...

For Oklahoma seniors, legal marijuana is a new frontier

Edibles made from low THC strains of cannabis, such as these gummies, are typically recommended for patients over 65 who are not accustomed to smoking. Photo courtesy of Lawrence Cagigal.

Wendy Weitzel, Reporter

July 29, 2020

Back doors, secret shops, shady exchanges, cryptic messages on bulletin boards. This is how Belinda Davis remembers the underground weed sales in Fayetteville, the Arkansas college town where she came of age in the 1960s. For Davis, 76, even with the persistent tide of medical marijuana legalization re...

Exiled to Indian Country: Osage Nation

Osage Nation maintains the only remaining reservation of tribal territory in Oklahoma. Headquarters for the government is centered in Pawhuska. (Photo Credit U.S. National Park Service, U.S. Dept. of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau)

Jim North, Reporter

July 27, 2020

The exchange of lush, green woodlands for the dry, unwanted land of Indian Territory came with plot twists. Osage ancestral territory east of the Mississippi included the Ohio Valley region, taking in portions of Ohio, West Virginia, Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Illinois.   The Osage ...

Post McGirt, the plan of action remains unsettled

Jurisdictional issues are fairly clear-cut after the McGirt decision with no federal legislation, but they become more muddled with the agreement in principle. Graphic courtesy of Rebecca Nagle, Mary Kathryn Nagle and Carly Griffith Hotvedt.

Breanna Mitchell and Wendy Weitzel

July 26, 2020

A small chink has emerged in the united front coming from Oklahoma’s tribes and the state Attorney General’s office.  Two of the so-called Five Tribes say they are opposed to an agreement that divides how criminal cases will be handled in Indian Country as tribal members started protesting the ...

Kiowas seeking to impeach chairman

Kiowa Tribe Chairman Matthew Komalty sits next to Angela McCarthy, Kiowa legislative speaker, with members of the tribe’s executive branch and legislators during a discussion earlier this year about tribal safety during early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak. Photo courtesy of The Kiowa Tribe

Nancy Spears, Reporter

July 23, 2020

The Kiowa Tribe chairman is facing impeachment over his handling of coronavirus relief funds by the tribe’s 7-member legislative branch. The mishandling of the money, distributed by the federal government through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, is one of five “constitution...

DACA recipients find community and common ground in advocacy

Dozens of individuals hold signs in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 12, as a crowd advocates for justices to uphold the Obama-era DACA program. Addison Kliewer/Gaylord News.

Wendy Weitzel, Reporter

July 16, 2020

Tasneem Al-Michael is the son of parents he admires, the younger of two children, the proud owner of a cat named Moon and the only person in the Al-Michael family who is undocumented. When he came to Oklahoma City from Bangladesh at 9 months old, his family clutched valuable visas allowing the entir...

Gaylord News, a news service of the University of Oklahoma Gaylord College.